Open Repositories 2021 will be virtual only

The Open Repositories Steering Committee and the Stellenbosch University hosts have decided to postpone the in-person conference planned for summer 2021 in Stellenbosch, South Africa, and to hold a completely virtual conference instead. The uncertainty around the continuing pandemic, travel restrictions, and the budget crises many of our institutions are in have all contributed to this decision. For many of us the true value of Open Repositories is the international conversations and community that it fosters; we felt strongly that, even if conditions improve, an in-person conference or a hybrid virtual/in-person would not be successful given the likely poor attendance.

The program committee will be working to reshape the conference into a virtual one including reaching out to those who had their 2020 OR proposals accepted and deferred. We appreciate your patience as we do this work.

We want to reaffirm our plan to hold an Open Repositories conference in South Africa. After working with both our Stellenbosch and our Denver hosts (who were slated to host the 2022 OR), we have decided to continue to plan for Denver for 2022 and to plan for Stellenbosch in 2023. Our deepest thanks go to both hosts – Stellenbosch University Libraries and the Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries – for their flexibility and commitment to Open Repositories.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me as Chair or Claire Knowles as Vice-Chair of the OR Steering Committee if you have questions. (Link to Post)

Welcome to New Members

The Open Repositories Steering Committee is pleased to announce three new standing members for the ORSC:

  • Jessica Lindholm (Chalmers University, Sweden)
  • Leila Sterman (Montana State University, USA)
  • Washington Luís Ribeiro de Carvalho Segundo (Instituto Brasileiro de Informação em Ciência e Tecnologia, Brazil)

We are also saying good-bye to three long time members.

  • Holly Mercer (University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA)
  • Elin Stangeland (University of Oslo, Norway)
  • Simeon Warner (Cornell University, USA)

We thank them for their work on the Steering Committee and to the broader Open Repositories community!

Call for Nominations for Open Repositories Steering Committee

The Open Repositories Steering Committee (ORSC) is pleased to announce that we are opening nominations for standing members to join the OR Steering Committee.

ORSC manages the annual Open Repositories conference and consists of a maximum of 12 standing members (who serve three-year terms) as well as the chairs of the host and program committees for the annual conferences. We have three open slots for standing members, and we are inviting nominations, including self-nominations. The nomination deadline is July 24th 2020.

The nomination form is available here:

 Nominees should have participated in at least one previous OR conference, ideally have been a member of a program or host committee for an OR conference, and have extensive experience with repositories and the international repository community. Some type of experience with the Open Repositories conference is necessary to join the ORSC.

ORSC members are expected to take part in a range of activities throughout the year, as well as those specifically related to the conference. Examples of member activities include:

  • Regular attendance at OR if at all possible. We note that for some potential members this can be difficult due to cost, travel, and schedules; the OR SC cannot provide funding for members to attend.
  • Participating in the majority of the monthly committee meetings, including the in-person meeting that takes place at the conference every year.
  • Participation in ad hoc or standing committees (e.g. Scholarship, Code of Conduct, Finance, etc.).
  • Serving specific conference roles such as Program Chair or Poster Chair.
  • Reflecting OR news and announcements (e.g. Calls for Papers, Expressions of Interest) via mailing lists and through social media.
  • Timely participation in all discussions, in-person and online.
  • Reviewing conference proposals and submissions.
  • Reviewing conference host bids.
  • Selecting new standing members for the ORSC.

We strongly recommend that potential nominees refer to the conference handbook for more information about the role of the ORSC:

When submitting a nomination (and self-nominations are welcome) you will be asked to submit the following information:

  1. Personal information: name, email, institution affiliation, and a brief description of the nominee’s role.
  2. An indication that your nominee has attended at least one OR in the previous four years.
  3. Statement of interest, e.g. why the nominee wants to join the Steering Committee.
  4. Statement of qualifications, e.g. what specific experiences the nominee would bring to the Steering Committee.

The OR Steering Committee will elect new members in August. Successful new members will be expected to join the ORSC in September for a three-year period. See for our membership policy. Current members are listed here:

If you have questions about the OR Steering Committee, please feel free to contact any of the current standing members listed here: or to reach out to the Chair, Sarah Shreeves, at sshreeves at or Claire Knowles, Vice-Chair at C.Knowles1 at 


The Open Repositories Steering Committee in consultation with the OR2020 and OR2021 hosts have made a decision to postpone OR2020 until May 31 – June 3rd 2021.

This was not a decision made lightly – we looked carefully at our options (keeping the current dates, cancelling, or postponing) and decided postponing a full year was the best option for both logistical and financial reasons. We chose Stellenbosch as a host location because we very much wanted to bring Open Repositories to the African continent and to create a space to listen and discuss the current state of repositories across Africa and the world. Postponing the conference a year allows us to meet that goal and, hopefully, a resolution of the current COVID19 pandemic.

If you have registered for the conference already or are a sponsor, the hosts at Stellenbosch will be contacting you with options. If you have submitted a proposal, the program committee will be in touch shortly with options. We are exploring the possibility of a virtual conference in order to allow some accepted proposals that are time sensitive to be presented. More information soon!

I also want to announce that our OR2022 location will be Denver, CO. The Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries in collaboration with six of its member institutions (University of Colorado Boulder Libraries, University of Denver Libraries, Colorado State University Libraries, Colorado School of Mines Library, University of Colorado Anschutz Library, and the University of Wyoming Libraries) were selected by the Steering Committee to host OR2021, but have graciously offered to move the dates to OR2022. We very much appreciate their willingness and flexibility to shift a full year in conference planning.

Again, if you have registered, sponsored, have been awarded a fellowship, or have a proposal in, you will be hearing from us shortly.

Sarah and Claire

Sarah L. Shreeves (Chair, Open Repositories Steering Committee)

Claire Knowles (Vice Chair, Open Repositories Steering Committee)

Open Repositories Steering Committee New Membership Policy and Process

The Open Repositories Steering Committee (ORSC) manages the annual Open Repositories conference. In 2019 we are changing the process for recruitment and elections of new committee members in order to enable more active engagement with the Steering Committee and conference planning. See for the new policy.

The ORSC consists of a maximum of 12 standing members who serve three-year terms as well as the chairs of the host and program committees for the annual conferences. Members should ideally have participated in previous conferences and have extensive experience with repositories and the international repository community.

In 2019 the ORSC has three open slots for standing members, and we are inviting nominations, including self-nominations. The call for nominations opens June 11 at the OR2019 conference in Hamburg.

See the full details here:

The nomination form is now open and available here:

Call for Expressions of Interest in hosting the annual Open Repositories Conference in 2021

The Open Repositories Steering Committee seeks Expressions of Interest (EoI) from candidate host organizations for the 2021 Open Repositories Annual Conference series. Proposals from the Americas will be given first consideration.

Submit your Expression of Interest (EoI) to host the OR2021 conference by April 30th, 2019. Shortlisted sites will be notified by the end of May 2019 and invited to submit a full proposal.

Full details and guidelines for submission

Save the Date for Open Repositories 2020

The Open Repositories Steering Committee and Stellenbosch University is delighted to announce that the 15th Open Repositories Conference will be held in Stellenbosch, South Africa, from 1-4 June 2020. The conference will be organised by Stellenbosch University Library and Information Service who looks forward to welcoming delegates to the first Open Repositories Conference (OR) on the African continent.

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Open Repositories Steering Committee Statement on Inclusion and Openness

In response to recent inquiries, the Open Repositories (OR) Steering Committee would like to share with the broader community our discussions and decision-making processes regarding conference locations. While recent political developments in various locations have brought this issue to the fore, many of our processes are not new and have informed our evaluation of conference locations and related efforts. These processes have evolved over the twelve Open Repositories, and will continue to do so.

First and foremost, we reiterate that we are an open community. We view inclusion and international participation as cornerstones to our work. We actively seek to include people from across the world, as both attendees and hosts, and have over the last four years offered a scholarship program to assist attendees who might not otherwise be able to attend.

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 Open Repositories Conference

Repositories play a pivotal role in the information landscape. Through a format that blends DSpace, Fedora,  Eprints and other interest group meetings with general conference sessions covering cross-cutting issues, the international Open Repositories Conference creates opportunities to explore the challenges faced by global academic library, research, preservation and access communities.

Repository platforms are changing the nature of scholarly communication. Institutions such as universities, research laboratories, publishers, libraries, and commercial organizations are creating innovative repository-based systems that address the entire lifecycle of information–from supporting the creation and management of digital content, to enabling use, re-use, and interconnection of information, to ultimately ensuring long-term preservation and archiving.

To get announcements about this and future Open Repositories events, you may join the OR announcements mailing list here: